Jeremy Huth was hoping for a top-four finish, but the Tallmadge boys cross country head coach will not sneeze at sixth place.
That is where his Blue Devils finished in the 26-team Division II race at the Galion Cross Country Festival Saturday at Amann’s Reservoir Park.
"We ran well," Huth said. "I was happy overall. Going into this meet, everybody wants to run fast because the course produces fast times if the conditions are ideal.
"But running at 1:30 in the middle of the day … it was roughly 85 degrees, so those are not ideal conditions.
"I think everybody paid the price a little bit. The heat definitely limits what you’re able to do."
Sheridan won the competition with 81 points and Mount Gilead (98) and Heath (115) finished second and third, respectively.
Lexington senior Kyle Johnston placed first out of 173 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 5.7 seconds.
Sophomore Tommy Naiman led Tallmadge with an 18th-place clocking of 17:14.1.
"That’s a pretty solid time," Huth said. "I thought Tommy performed the best of anybody on our team.
"Nobody on our team had a great start, but Tommy definitely battled throughout and had a pretty good finish."
The rest of Tallmadge’s top five finishers were separated by just 12.3 seconds.
Senior Zach Brown (38th, 18:02.1), sophomore Ben Jurkowski (40th, 18:03.2), senior Alex Krukemeyer (45th, 18:09.5) and sophomore Dawson Ansley (52nd, 18:14.4) rounded out the team scoring for the Blue Devils.
"Those four guys were within contact of each other and I think that alone kept them together," Huth said. "Nobody really stood out in that group and had the race of their life."